Leo Nestor (B.A., Music-Composition, California State University, East Bay; M.M., D.M.A., Choral Music, University of Southern California), Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music; Director of Choral Studies; Director, Institute of Sacred Music; member of the conducting faculty, co-operating member of the composition faculty, The Catholic University of America Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, where since 2001 he has conducted the CUA Chamber Choir and University Singers, taught undergraduate and graduate conducting and guided the academic and performance formation of graduate students in choral music and musica sacra.
Since 1990, Leo Nestor's works have been published principally by ECS Publishing, with works appearing in the catalogues of Oxford University Press, GIA Publications, MorningStar Music, CanticaNOVA Publications, Oregon Catholic Press and Selah Publishing House.
Dr. Nestor is among the four founding members (1984) and continues to serve as advisor (1996) to the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians. As founder, conductor, and artistic director of the American Repertory Singers, a professional vocal ensemble specializing in the performance and recording of contemporary literatures, Dr. Nestor has produced eight recordings on Arsis Audio, notably Come to Me: Love Songs by American Composers, along with many seasons of new-issue recordings for ECS.
He has served the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as musical advisor to the Secretariat for Divine Worship. He has taught at Mt. St. Mary's College, Los Angeles, and served as professor of graduate conducting at St. John's University, Collegeville. From 1991-1998 he served as artistic advisor, member of the international jury, Comitato d'Onore, and conductor of the Coro Internazionale for L'Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra in Rome. From January of 1984 through July of 2001, Dr. Nestor was music director at Washington's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. During his 2008 sabbatical, he served as composer-in-residence at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City.
Three times commissioned to compose for the apostolic visits of Blessed John Paul II to Los Angeles in 1987 (People of God in the City of Our God) and St. Louis in 1999 (Magnificat), Lord, You Give the Great Commission was composed for the 2008 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Washington, D.C. Commissioned works increasingly form a significant part of Prof. Nestor’s output. Larger works have been composed for The Catholic University of America (In the Fullness of Time for chorus, soli and orchestra; 1984), the fortieth anniversary Kennedy Center celebration of The Washington Chorus, Variations on «Of the Father's Love Begotten» for divisi chorus, large brass ensemble, percussion and organ. Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Dwelling Place (Los Angeles, 2009) for chorus, chamber orchestra and organ for James Harold Vail, the composer’s mentor.
Residing on Washington's Capitol Hill, Leo Nestor maintains an active life as teacher, conductor, and composer.